The visual arts enrich our lives in many ways, bringing us innovative ideas, the pleasure of beauty, and a range of emotions—while also puzzling us at times. Art historian Janetta Rebold Benton highlights the fundamentals shared by all the visual arts. Through looking at artists’ materials and techniques, such as drawing, painting, printing, photography, sculpture, and decorative arts she shares how honing our visual literacy skills enables us to understand concepts conveyed without words. To move beyond “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like” requires an understanding of why you like it, and this seminar is designed to help you re-evaluate how you look at art.
10–11 a.m. How to Look at Art: Experiencing and Appreciating
Some of the great debates in the history of art are presented. Various definitions of Art are considered.
11–11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Analyzing Art
Learn the basic elements used in all visual arts--such as color, line, space, composition, etc.—and aesthetic principles and styles.
10–11 a.m. Materials and Techniques
An understanding of the materials and techniques used by artists, and the advantages and disadvantages of each, makes it possible to assess what can (and cannot) be done in certain media.
11–11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. But What Does It Mean?
Context proves to be key to understanding a scene or specific symbol’s meaning. Understanding the use of Iconography, the language of symbols.
Benton’s book How to Understand Art (Thames & Hudson, London, 2021) is available for purchase.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1 credit*
Book Sale Information
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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.